Update Niger: Newspaper editor still on remand

The Magistrate Courtin Niameyadjourned the defamation case against Ibrahim Manzo, Managing editor of the weekly L’Autre Observatuer newspaper.

The decision means Manzo, will remain in prison. He was arrested upon a summons issued by the State Prosecutor on, February 6, following a complaint lodged by Moussa Dan Foulani, a businessman and a personal friend of Niger President Mamadou Tandja .In an article in the December 5, 2005 edition of L’Autre Observatuer, Manzo reported the trial of an armed robber charged with robbery at gunpoint and who allegedly claimed at the trial that Dan Foulani sold to him the arms he used in the attempted robbery. MFWA learnt that pleas by people close to the editor for Dan Foulani to withdraw the case failed as he was said to be on a business trip in neighbouring Nigeria.

The State Prosecutor had earlier asked the Court for a two-month prison term and 50,000 CFA Francs (approximately US $ 92) to be slapped on Manzo.The Managing editor whose fate now lies with the judge, made hisfirst Court appearance without his attorney. This is because the attorney had decided not to take up the case, as conditions were not favourable for him to put up a proper defence.

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